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Carmel United Draws IMG 3-3 To Return To Title Game

CARSON, Calif. (July 14, 2009) – With group 2 already settled earlier in the afternoon, group 1 was down to two teams fighting to join D.C. United in the U-17/18 national championship match. Carmel United SC needed a win or a draw to advance, while IMG Soccer Academy could take the group with a win. In a hotly-contested game, IMG took an early two goal lead but failed to hold on, eventually drawing with Carmel 3-3.

In a match that saw many attacks into each team’s final third, it was IMG that opened up the scoring in only the seventh minute. Luis Calzadilla sent in a hard cross to Martin Ontiveros, who due to poor marking was camped in front of the goal. Receiving the pass, the midfielder calmly took one touch to collect and one to shoot past a helpless Jon Dawson for the 1-0 lead.

Carmel almost tied it in the 21st minute on a corner kick. Taken by Harrison Petts, the service connected with a Carmel United head and was put on frame, but IMG goalkeeper Larry Jackson dove to his right and palmed it away.

Lax defending on the part of Carmel again allowed IMG a second goal in the 32nd minute. With Reinaldo Brenes carrying the ball up the right side, Calzadilla got free in the box. Seeing Luis Ocejo open on the far post, Calzadilla passed the ball to Ocejo who, after missing the first attempt and a small scramble, put the ball away for a 2-0 lead.

It was six minutes later that 35th minute Carmel substitute Austin Oldham made an immediate impact, bringing his team back in the game. A long pass was served from the back, and Matthew Sanner did well to flick it on forward with his head to Oldham, who now had a 2v1 45 yards from goal. Given space to move, Oldham pushed the ball forward twice and let fly, perhaps surprising IMG ‘keeper Larry Jackson by sticking it inside the right post for Carmel’s first goal of the game.

Spirited, physical play saw the score stay 2-1 going into halftime and for the start of the second half. In the 55th minute, IMG missed a chance to build on their lead when a ball sent in across the goalmouth just missed the sliding feet of Andres Acevedo.

In the 67th minute, Carmel tied the game off the head of forward Matthew Sanner. Playing alone up top, Sanner positioned himself well inside the box to receive Harrison Petts pinpoint cross and head the ball into the right side netting. With the game tied, Carmel now stood to advance into the championship game if the score held.

Sanner would get his second on the night 14 minutes later, providing an insurance goal of sorts for Carmel United. Once again Petts sent the ball in, this time from just inside midfield, straight on. Doing well to chest the ball for control, Sanner turned and fired a first time volley that easily beat Jackson to the left. It was a fantastic finish that would prove to be the deciding goal that sent his team through as group winners.

Despite losing the lead, IMG did not cave, taking the ball out of the net and sprinting up field to try and come back. They almost succeeded, too, as a Miguel Medina strike from 40 yards out caught Dawson off his line and dipped under the crossbar in the 86th minute. It was a fantastic shot that leveled the score, but unfortunately for IMG, that’s all Carmel needed. With keep away and dribbling, the Indiana side managed to kill the clock and earn the needed result.

After winning the U-15/16 national championship last year, Carmel United SC will now have a chance to defend their title against D.C. United in the U-17/18 Development Academy national championship game on Thursday, July 16, at 7 pm PT. The match will be broadcast on ESPN Classic and will conclude Finals Week for the U-17/18 age group.

Match: IMG Soccer Academy vs. Carmel United SC
Date: July 14, 2009
Competition: Development Academy Finals Week; Group 1
Venue: The Home Depot Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Weather: 70 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
IMG                             2 1 3
CAR                           1 2 3

IMG – Martin Ontiveros (Luis Calzadilla)                            7th minute
IMG – Luis Ocejo (Luis Calzadilla)                                     32
CAR – Austin Oldham                                                           38
CAR – Matthew Sanner (Harrison Petts)                           67
CAR – Matthew Sanner (Harrison Petts)                           81
IMG – Miguel Medina                                                             86

IMG: 1- Larry Jackson; 2-Jon Eckford, 8-Ambry Moss, 5-Alex Walters, 4-John Rayha (2-Jon Eckford, 90); 20-Reinaldo Brenes, 15-Martin Ontiveros (16-Benjamin Barshai, 81), 19-Jorge Risquez (7-Miguel Medina, 79), 14-Luis Ocejo (21-Fernando Mares, 67), 10-Andres Acevedo (17-Ricardo Batista, 46; 18-Tyler Currence, 88); 9-Luis Calzadilla

CAR: 35-Jon Dawson; 13-James Vollmer, 18-Tyrone Martin, 23-Michael Wignot, 6-Jared Isenthal; 5-Nikita Kotlov (11-Zakk Rankin, 76), 4-Jarrett Baughman (10-59), 19-Jeremy Vollmer, 21-Harrison Petts, 8-Ryan Fier (7-Austin Oldham, 35); 12-Matthew Sanner

Stats Summary: IMG / CAR
Shots: 9 / 17
Shots on Goal: 5 / 8
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 8
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
CAR – Jeremy Vollmer                          24th minute
IMG – Andres Acevedo                          36